Our churches hold child abuse vigil

The abuse of children in prisons and detention centres prompted a vigil by the combined churches of Hunters Hill and Gladesville last Saturday night.

The vigil was held at the Hunters Hill Congregational Church and saw candles lit to ‘express our solidarity’ with children who suffer trauma and on-going abuse.

The vigil was hosted by the Pastor Dr Peter Atkins who said the vigil was also for child refugees in detention.

“There are many different views about the best way to cope with the refugees, but surely no one can argue that keeping people in an environment of abuse is acceptable.

“For those of us who follow Jesus, we can never stand by and tolerate such mistreatment.”

Hunters Hill Anglican Church Reverend Michael Armstrong said he’s been shocked by news coverage of Australian children in detention who have experienced rape and inhumane treatment.

“I will be attended to show solidarity with those in detention and being mistreated, and to express my peaceful and prayerful desire for this to come to an end, and for a compassionate and dignified system be put in place urgently”.

Hunters Hill’s Holy Name of Mary Church and St Peter Chanel Church (Woolwich) parish priest Father Kevin Bates SM agreed.

“The Church needs to be a prophetic voice, which quietly points out what is wrong in our world, draws our attention to it, and seeks to bring about new possibilities”, he said.

The Inter-Church Council of Gladesville-Hunters Hill includes the Boronia Park Uniting Church; the Catholic parishes of Hunters Hill & Ryde-Gladesville; Hunters Hill Congregational Community Church; Gladesville Presbyterian Church and the Anglican Parish of Hunters Hill.

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PICTURED are representatives from the combined churches of Hunters Hill and Gladesville at Saturday night’s vigil at Hunters Hill Congregational Church. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO

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